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Senate Reaches Deal to Move Trade Promotion Authority

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Just one day after Senate Democrats thwarted a motion to start debating the trade promotion authority (TPA) bill, leaders from both sides reached an agreement to consider, and possibly approve, the fast track authority that would let President Obama settle trade deals.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that the Senate would vote on a trade enforcement bill that includes plans to target currency manipulation by trading partners, something Democrats stressed yesterday they wouldn’t back TPA without.

Following that vote, the Senate will begin talks on TPA, which would allow for progress on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other in-negotiation trade deals.

“We agree that strengthening the middle class by knocking down unfair trade restrictions is a good idea,” Senator McConnell said. “Since we agree on the policy, I think we have a duty to the American people to cooperate responsibly to pursue it.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or.) added, “Taken together, the bills form a package of trade policies that are going to help our country create more high-skill, high-wage jobs in my state and across the land. And as I have said so often, if you wanted to explain what a modern trade policy is in a sentence, what you’d say is this is the kind of approach that helps us grow things in America, make things in America, add value to them in America, and then ship them somewhere.”

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